Brady Leman was the fastest man in qualifying in Arosa ©Getty Images

Olympic champion Brady Leman topped men's qualifying as the International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Cross World Cup season began in Arosa in Switzerland.

The Canadian crossed the line in 30:06sec to secure bib number one in his round-of-64 race tomorrow. 

Swiss Berry Joos was 0.12 back in second, with 20-year-old Italian Simone Deromedis and David Mobärg of Sweden each 0.23 behind the leader.

Ryan Regez, 0.32 off the pace, qualified in seventh and Alex Fiva was ninth, a firther 0.07 behind.

Both Swiss, Regez was second in last season's FIS Ski Cross World Cup standings and Fiva was the 2012-2013 champion.

Defending champion Kevin Drury, a Canadian, was way down in 52nd.

Five rounds, including the final, are scheduled in tomorrow's men's competition, with Italy's Edoardo Zorzi the only skier to miss out after he did not finish.

There will only be four rounds in the women's World Cup tomorrow, and Australian Sami Kennedy-Sim posted the fastest time by some margin, 31.66.

Sami Kennedy-Sim, right, has only ever made one World Cup podium before ©Getty Images
Sami Kennedy-Sim, right, has only ever made one World Cup podium before ©Getty Images

Home skier Fanny Smith was second, 0.81 back, and Canada's Marielle Thompson third, an extra 0.08 behind.

Smith was second in the overall World Cup standings last season and Thompson third.

Both are past winners and Smith won a bronze medal at Pyeongchang 2018, while Thompson was the Sochi 2014 Olympic champion.

Overall women's World Cup champion Sandra Näslund of Sweden is absent from this event through injury, and a second set of races is scheduled for Wednesday, so Thompson and Smith will be eager to establish a lead Näslund will struggle to claw back.

Racing in Arosa is taking place under lights.